If you have some fish stock you can make fish soup, fish stew or a sauce for fish. Myself, I love fish soup. My favourite is the smooth kind served with rouille, croutons and Gruyère. But when you want fish soup for a week day dinner rouille is most definately out of the question, croutons are pushing it, and the Gruyère, if you have some, will probably be eaten as pudding. Fish stock is easy, rewarding in its homemade-ness, and quick enough to make before making an equally quick soup.
Once you have a great base like homemade stock, a soup is as simple as sautéing some vegetables, deglazing with a bit of wine, adding the stock and maybe some other vegetables like tomatoes, then simmering for a wee while. If you would like a more substantial main course soup, then poach some meat, fish or heat some pre-cooked pulses in the soup for the last few minutes. Simple! This is the sort of autopilot cooking that I find so thereputic at the end of a day at work : a bit of chopping, a bit of stirring ; nothing too urgent. Especially so, if things, like the stock, are premade and everything else is ready to go.
I make fish soup like this :
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/2 a fennel bulb, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 dried red chilli, chopped
the leaves from a sprig of thyme, chopped
a pinch of saffron
white wine to deglaze - a glass or so.
a cup of fish stock
a tin of whole peeled tomatoes, pureed with a stick blender and then sieved (poor man's passata!)
400g of mixed white fish fillets, cut into chunks. For example trevally, tarakihi or gurnard- as many or few different kinds as you fancy.
Sauté the onion, fennel, garlic, chilli, saffron and thyme in olive oil until the onion is soft and starting to turn golden. Pour in the wine and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil then reduce to a low simmer. Adjust the seasoning as you like. Cover and leave to simmer for fifteen minutes or so. When you are ready to eat drop in the fish pieces, they will only take a few minutes to cook.
Serves two generously with some crusty bread to accompany.